Saturday, May 17, 2008

MediaSentry lawyers write to State Police, saying MediaSentry doesn't need a license

In Arista v. Does 1-21 (renamed London-Sire v. Doe 1), "John Doe" has annexed as an exhibit to some motion papers on a procedural point, a copy of a letter written to the State Police on behalf of MediaSentry.

Request for leave to file reply nunc pro tunc with exhibit A (MediaSentry "investigative" web page) and exhibit B (letter to State Police)*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

Please forgive my ignorance of the law, but how is the non-profit status of the RIAA an issue? They are neither plantiff nor party to the case. The plantiffs are, by any measure, companies for profit. The RIAA is merely their agent, although it seems to an ignorant engineer that they are very much in the business of practicing law.

Kip Patterson

Anonymous said...

The two letters are very odd. John Doe's motion is badly written; it's very hard to understand what they mean.

MediaSentry's letter is even more strange. They claim to be an "agent of a non-profit" [the RIAA]. But this can't be right: I cannot imagine that it is legal for a for-profit company (the music industry plaintiffs) to form a non-profit which will then act on the behalf of the for-profit company in this sway.

They are also claiming that investigations for attorneys don't require licensing. Is this really the case -- that an attorney can ask anyone to conduct an investigation and thus exempt that person from licensing requirements?

Alter_Fritz said...

yeah, nuc pro trunc of course!

Nunc pro tunc: A legal phrase applied to acts which are allowed after the time when they should be done, with a retroactive effect. (Thanks google for your define: function and for their glossary entry)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the RIAA's argument that this is all Public Information in the first place, and hence one should not question the methods of the investigators, PI's almost always find public information. They don't (unless they're Anthony Pellicano) break into safes, wiretap, extort information by force or fear, or utilize other illegal methods to obtain information. They're just expert (and hard working) on ferreting out what's already available to be found with enough diligent effort.

And even in Pellicano's case, that evidence was seldom used in court. Instead his clients used it for other, less noble, purposes.

Here the RIAA is using the MediaSentry information as the cornerstone of their legal arguments as to why they're entitled to private, protected identity information in order to extort through various methods excessive payment for perceived acts against their members.

Note by the way that Mr. Pellicano is currently in IMMENSE legal hot water over his methods, as should MediaSentry be.


Anonymous said...

If the legality of evidence obtainment is not a necessity for evidence to be permitted for use, then shouldn't the damning files taken from the hacked account of the MediaSentry employee, which prove that IP addresses can be forged, be allowed for submission as evidence too?

Anonymous said...

I do believe any private investigators, even with said liscensing, break the law when they spoof their way into "private" files, such as government, medical, etc files.Therefore, most digging up of stuff is of a public's usually the investigators time and ingenuity you are paying for.

This, in no way excuses mediasentra from their deviant behavior...snooping and reporting to a paying client!

Unless laws are different State to State...


Anonymous said...

Neither §(23)7 or §(23)6 apply. §(23)7 is for collection of data regarding the operation of a non-profit: e.g. sales data for the recording industry as a whole. The plain letter of the law does not exempt investigations of individuals that are not a member of the non-profit:
Investigations with respect to, or the compilation or dissemination of, any data or statistics pertaining to any business or industry, by any trade or business association, board or organization, incorporated or unincorporated, not operated for profit, representing persons engaged in such business or industry, or by any agent of any such trade or business association while he is engaged in the discharge of his duties as such agent.

Although, this law does then allow the RIAA to be investigated without a license.

As has been already discussed on this blog and in briefs to the court, there's no way MS is except according to §(23)6. MS is not a lawyer, and was not strictly working for a single lawyer, and the lawyer purported to be in charge (Lineares) has produced factual inconsistencies which reflect a lack of oversight had MS actually been directly working with him.

As an aside, I wonder if the RIAA being non-profit can influence some of the discovery issues defendants have been having in these cases.